Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1208.2805 (Gero Friesecke et al.)

Cnoidal Waves on Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Lattices    [PDF]

Gero Friesecke, Alice Mikikits-Leitner
We study a chain of infinitely many particles coupled by nonlinear springs, obeying the equations of motion [\ddot{q}_n = V'(q_{n+1}-q_n) - V'(q_n-q_{n-1})] with generic nearest-neighbour potential $V$. We show that this chain carries exact spatially periodic travelling waves whose profile is asymptotic, in a small-amlitude long-wave regime, to the KdV cnoidal waves. The discrete waves have three interesting features: (1) being exact travelling waves they keep their shape for infinite time, rather than just up to a timescale of order wavelength$^{-3}$ suggested by formal asymptotic analysis, (2) unlike solitary waves they carry a nonzero amount of energy per particle, (3) analogous behaviour of their KdV continuum counterparts suggests long-time stability properties under nonlinear interaction with each other. Connections with the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam recurrence phenomena are indicated. Proofs involve an adaptation of the renormalization approach of Friesecke and Pego (1999) to a periodic setting and the spectral theory of the periodic Schr\"odinger operator with KdV cnoidal wave potential.
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